Mumbai Crime: Eight detained for cheating Americans in the name of IRS

Nov 03, 2017, 10:20 IST | Suraj Ojha

The Mumbai Crime Branch raided a fake call centre at Malad yesterday, and detained over 10 people. According to sources, the call centre used to target Americans and cheat them in the name of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Representation pic
Representation pic

The Mumbai Crime Branch had received a tip off and its Unit 3 raided a spot at Malad’s Kachpada. According to sources, when Crime Branch officials entered the call centre, they found six people with laptops and headphones.

During investigation police found that the call centre ‘staff’ used to call US citizens and introduce themselves as IRS officers. During the call they would warn them that they were black listed for not paying proper tax and IRS would take legal action against them. The citizens would panic and in fear, ask them if they could something to avoid the legal action.

American names used
A Crime Branch source said, “The call centre staff would pose as IRS officers and introduce themselves with American names. They would speak with an American accent. One of accused, Talib Ansari, used the name Steven Mac Donald. Another accused Azim Sheikh, used James Howard.”

Police also found customers’ data, closing script, automated voice call clips, pre-recording message, audio message eyebeam software, VC dialer information and the call centre account information. Police have seized six laptops and seven mobiles phones from the call centre.

When the scared citizens would ask for help, the accused would ask them to buy iTunes, steam, target and bestboy gift cards. After this the accused would ask them to give the gift card numbers. Once they got the number, they would forward it to one Abhishek Dube, who would encash the gift amount and later transfer it to a call centre account. In one of the laptops police found a file which was named ‘Doris 9’ and in it they found 31 gift card numbers, each of which was worth $50.

FIR registered
According to the sources, police registered an FIR against eight of the people and more names were included later. Police have booked Mushir Sheikh, 27, Talib Ansari, 29, Azim Sheikh, 25, Adil Sayyad, 25, Ronald Rodricks, 30, Farhan Sheikh, 28, Prashant Kamble, 29, and Abhishek Dube under Sections 419, 420, 384, 120 (B), 34 of Indian Penal Code and 25 (A) of the Indian Telegraph Act.

What is a gift card
A gift card (also known as gift certificate in North America, or gift voucher, or gift token in the UK) is a prepaid stored-value money card usually issued by a retailer or bank, to be used as an alternative to cash for purchases within a particular store or related businesses.

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